Newcomb is the classic volleyball lead-up or introductory game. It has all the elements of regulation volleyball except the volleying of the ball. The game is played by throwing the volleyball back and forth over the
net. Newcomb is used as an introduction to volleyball rules and concepts and is taught in the fourth or fifth grades. With some changes, Newcomb can be more sophisticated and more fun, but first let's look at the
Two teams of from six to nine players each line up on opposite sides of the net. To start the match, the ball is thrown over the net from the right rear end line. The Player catching the ball then throws the ball
back over the net from the spot where it was caught. A point is earned when a player on the catching side fails to catch a thrown ball that lands within the playing area or if the ball is touched and dropped. If the
ball is thrown out-of-bounds, the other team scores a point. The number of points needed to win the game is usually fifteen, but teams can play for any number of points.
A variation of Newcomb that can be enjoyed by enthusiastic but less talented adults is played the same way. The variation is to allow three passes to be made on the same side of the net before returning the ball over
the net. Through rapid, accurate passing the ball direction can be changed to outmaneuver the opponents. If the ball is dropped during the passing process, the point is lost. This variation can lead to hilarity and
excitement as the ball is passed faster and faster and all players are forced to respond to the actions of the passed ball. A good workout will be had by all.